Saturday, February 8, 2014

VDOT meeting on Route 7 bridge over Dulles Toll Road - Postponed to Feb. 20 due to snow

VDOT is holding a meeting on Thursday, Feb. 20 13, at Colvin Run ES to provide information and solicit comments on their plans to replace the Route 7 bridge deck over the Dulles Toll Road. There are currently no bike or ped facilities on this bridge other than the normal travel lanes. Current plans include 14-foot trails on each side of Route 7. We have asked that the trails be grade-separated to avoid having cyclists and pedestrians crossing dangerous high speed exit/entrance ramps.

This is a great opportunity to speak out for safe ped/bike crossings of the Toll Road. This access will allow users to reach the new Spring Hill Silver Line station and other destinations in Tysons. It will also allow future Tysons residents another option for getting around without using a car. If you can't attend the meeting, please send comments in support of bike access on Route 7. Mention "Route 7 Bridge Decks Replacement" in the subject.

Here's info on the meeting:
Bridge Decks Replacement and Widening of Route 7 over Dulles Airport Toll Road

Stop by a design public hearing for this project between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday,February 13, 2014 at the Colvin Run Elementary School, 1400 Trap Road, Vienna, VA. Email or send your comments to Mr. Arifur Rahman, P.E., 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 by March 3, 2014.

If cancelled due to weather, meeting will be Thursday, February 20, 2014, 6 - 8 p.m.

About the Project

This project will widen Route 7 from four lanes to six lanes, approximately from 0.1 mile west of Tyco Road to approximately 0.6 mile west of Tyco Road. The six lane facility will tie into the existing four lanes. The decks of the two existing bridges over Dulles Airport Toll Road (DATR) will be replaced and widened in the middle to accommodate one extra lane on each side of the bridges. A 14 foot wide shared-use path will be built for pedestrians and bikes to travel in each direction. The shared-use path will tie into future trails. The proposed grade of the bridges over DATR will be raised to meet the standard clearance requirement of 16' 6". The superstructure and the two abutments of the existing bridges will be replaced, and the substructure will be repaired. Existing piers will be widened to accommodate the additional width for the bridge. The widening work will require some additional right of way and temporary construction easements.

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Thanks for the heads-up, Bruce.

According to a September 2013 "working group" presentation [ ], VDOT has studied several alternatives for the shared-use paths (SUPs), including at least four different options for grade-separated SUPs. Although VDOT is likely to resist building more than one of the grade-separated options, perhaps we should insist on two (one along each side of Rte 7), unless the median-running SUP is considered best. Unfortunately, each of the "grade-separated" SUP alternatives do involve some at-grade road crossings.

Bicycling and pedestrian advocates should study each of these alternatives carefully and comment thoughtfully on what they believe is the best one(s). It seems that VDOT has made a serious effort to consider non-motorized travel in developing this project. Attending VDOT's public meeting is probably the best way to understand the various SUP options.

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